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How to Write Discursive Essay (Format, Examples, and Topics)

A discursive is a critical essay in which the author attempts to provide the reader with a balanced argument. However, how can you write a discursive piece of writing without going biased and taking any particular stance? Well, this is more challenging than you think.

If you want to write a discursive essay, you need to understand the steps necessary to write it, some examples, a proper format, and finally, a great topic.

What Is A Discursive Essay? Definition And Meaning

A discursive essay is a type of academic writing in high school that investigates, analyzes, and assesses a particular topic or issue from multiple angles and views. It requires a deep level of critical thinking and some sound and valid arguments and counterarguments that acknowledge the problems for and against.

Plus, discursive writing attracts more attention to reasons, not emotions or opinions. While the author may write his conclusion but, due to balanced arguments, it’s up to the audience to come up with their findings about a topic.

What Challenges Do High School Students Face in Writing A Discursive Essay?

Unlike other kinds of essays, discursive essays require critical thinking skills and a deep understanding of how to approach the essay without being personal or opinionative. However, students mostly face the below-mentioned challenges while writing a discursive essay.

Topic SelectionChoosing a balanced and debate topic with enough supporting arguments for both sides
Argument developmentBuilding solid and coherent arguments and counterarguments without bias.
Balancing perspectivesEnsuring equal representation and consideration of opposing viewpoints.
Formal toneDiscursive writing requires a formal tone, which is hard for students to maintain.

How To Write Discursive Essay?

A discursive essay requires a compilation of steps to accomplish your essay. Generally, you need a discursive essay format/ structure that starts with an introduction, then a body section, and a conclusion paragraph. Let’s see how it works.


Start With A Compelling Introduction

An introduction is the first thing readers interact with while reading your essay. Therefore, it must be perfect from every angle. However, you must understand how to write an introduction to a discursive essay. Generally, it includes some steps, which we discuss below.

  • Start with a thesis statement or essay hook that attracts the reader’s attention.
  • Include background or existing data and information to set the context of your essay.
  • It should also include the main arguments, key ideas, and questions you will discuss in the body sections.

Body Paragraphs

Discursive writing provides evidence supporting the main topic like an argumentative or opinion essay. But, what makes it different from others is that it also holds counterarguments to balance the essay from various angles. Below, we provide some tips to help you understand how to write a discursive essay format body section.

  • The body part of the discursive essay includes multiple paragraphs.
  • Each paragraph starts with a topic sentence and focuses on a single argument.
  • You analyze, evaluate, and discuss the particular point in the paragraph.
  • To support your argument, provide solid evidence, such as examples, quotes, facts, or expert opinion.
  • Look for the counterarguments or opposing views.
  • Refute or accept the opposing views with logical reasoning and evidence.
  • Try to add a minimum of two arguments/evidence in different paragraphs, and the same for the counterarguments. However, you can add more than two depending on the topic’s complexity and your study’s academic level.

Bonus Tip: Now, take help with assignment writing to learn how to include counter arguments or opposing views to provide a more balanced, objective, and impartial analysis of your essay.


Conclusion is the final part of your discursive essay, and it must be attempted with some critical points in mind.

  • Briefly summarize the main points and arguments.
  • Never add any new data or information not discussed in the essay.
  • Your conclusion must not exceed one paragraph
  • Leave the reader with thought-provoking questions.
  • You can also add a pitch in the last line to make the reader decide on their own

Bonus tip: Use conclusion words for essay to make it more compelling to your audience.

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Main Types Of Discursive Essays

Discursive essay writing, or discussion essay, involves exploring different perspectives on a topic. There are mainly three types of discursive writing essays, as discussed below.

Opinion-Based Essay

In opinion-based essays, the writer presents his understanding, view, arguments, and opinion on a particular topic. The essay balances every aspect, such as the positive and negative, and then supports it with evidence.

Argumentative Essay

An argumentative essay is persuasive, but in this type of essay, the writer takes a clear position or stance and then convinces the readers with evidence.

Persuasive Essay

In a persuasive essay, the writer argues for or against a topic by using evidence and opinions to persuade the reader to adopt his point of view.

Discursive Essay Example

Title: Social Media Impacts On Individual’s Relationships And Life


The advent of social media has changed the way we communicate, interact, and form new relationships with each other. However, there are different schools of thought surrounding this phenomenon. While some contend that it is the most efficient tool for team collaboration, others highlight its detrimental effects on an individual’s health and social life. This essay will focus on the positive as well as negative impacts of social media on an individual’s life.

Efficient Connectivity

There are various social media apps, such as Facebook, Twitter (X), Instagram, Whatsapp, Snapchat, and TikTok. Roughly two-thirds (67%) of social media users say that staying in touch with current friends and family members is a primary reason they use sites like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, or LinkedIn; about half say they use them to reconnect with old friends. These statistics from a Pew Research source show how effective and essential it is to use social media to stay connected with near and dear ones regardless of distance.

Social Interaction

Social media platforms provide unprecedented opportunities to form communities and groups of like-minded people. These communities help people share knowledge and ideas and discuss topics of similar interest. Reputable research shows that many Americans use social media to connect with one another, engage with news content, share information, and entertain themselves.

Sense Of Isolation

Addiction to social media usage leads to social isolation, where individuals remain engaged in navigating virtual spaces, disregarding the people surrounding them. This leads to physical isolation in society. A survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation depicts that 22% of adults in the U.S. often or always feel lonely, left out, lack companionship, and isolated from others.

Privacy Concerns

Social media often leads to the breach of personal data and creates a trust deficit. Shaping relationships with people without having any face-to-face interaction poses significant challenges to authenticity and reliability. In a survey, researchers showed that around 79% of internet users are concerned about their privacy on social media. While 51% of users believe social media companies are not doing enough to protect user data.


Although social media has revolutionized communication strategies and provides various benefits, such as remote connectivity and social collaboration, it poses some challenges, such as protecting individuals’ privacy and the absence of face-to-face communication. Therefore, individuals should strike a balance and consider its pros and cons.

The above discursive essay example will help you better understand what is a discursive essay and how to attempt it with proper arguments from different angles.

Little-Known Tips For Writing Discursive Essays

Even though we have covered each aspect of discursive writing, some things may not look significant, but without knowing them, your essay may not get good grades. We have covered some little-known tips to consider while writing discursive essays.

  • Stay fair, impartial, and unbiased.
  • Don’t use short forms of words like (didn’t), (we’ll)
  • Since it is a formal tone, your essay must be in third person form throughout.
  • The evidence you use for your arguments must be valid and from authentic sources.
  • Discuss opposing views and accept or refute them with logical reasoning.
  • Don’t add your personal stance in a discursive essay.
  • Don’t use slang, idioms, or complex terms while remaining neutral.

What Is The Difference Between A Discursive And An Argumentative Essay?

Discursive EssayArgumentative Essay
It explores a particular topic from each angle and perspective without taking any definitive position.This essay takes a clear position or stance on any controversial topic.
Discusses both positive and negative arguments in a balanced tone.It tries to convince the readers of a specific perspective with solid evidence.
The writer has to be impartial, fair, and unbiased without taking any particular stance.The writer has to be partial and take any single position.
Maintain objectivityPersuasive language and tone
Addresses counterargumentsArguments and Rebuttal

Discursive Essay Topics – 20 Best Topics

We know how difficult it is to choose a topic for a discursive essay with plenty of supported arguments from both sides. However, to overcome your problem, we have extensively researched and developed these top trendy and debate topics that you can easily use for your essay.

  1. The AI revolution and job opportunities.
  2. Is ChatGpt safe to use
  3. Impacts of Web 3.0 on the working landscape of the industries.
  4. Co-education in universities: Advantages and Disadvantages
  5. Should the use of social media be banned for students?
  6. Is technology pushing us towards isolation?
  7. How old is too old for parenthood?
  8. Should the death penalty be abolished?
  9. Is climate change a real threat to humankind?
  10. Has technology ruined family life
  11. The influence of video games on youth behavior
  12. Evaluating the pros and cons of marijuana legalization.
  13. Should genetically modified foods be banned?: Exploring the health and environmental implications.
  14. Debate the potential benefits and dangers of AI.
  15. Should school uniforms be mandatory?
  16. Are standardized tests an adequate measure of student ability?
  17. Are footballers paid too much?
  18. Examine the arguments for and against stricter gun regulations.
  19. Should space exploration be prioritized over solving Earth’s problems?
  20. Is college like high school

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Final Thoughts

The discursive essay explores the particular topic from every aspect in a balanced and objective way. Beyond definition, we introduce you to the art of crafting it perfectly by making a proper outline. Further, we have followed the standard format and structure that most industry experts recommend.

And lastly, a practical example is included to sort out your remaining queries. Now, it’s time to choose a topic for your discursive writing and craft a compelling essay on your own.

Frequently Asked Questions
How do you start a discursive essay? How to end a discursive essay? How to write a discursive essay example? Do you use quotes in a discursive essay?
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